The Great Resignation and the role of communications

28 October 2021

By Claire Weekes

Are you ready for the Great Resignation?

With nearly half of UK employees claiming they plan to quit next year, now’s the time to think about how your share plan and reward communications can help the cause and retain talent.

All signs point toward the Great Resignation being a major concern for employers in 2022 – a recent study of 3,500 employees by Workhuman found that 48% of UK men and 45% of UK women say they plan to quit their job within the next year.

The reasons will probably come as no surprise, with the overall gist being that people want more flexibility and better compensation – particularly at the end of another year when many say they have experienced some form of burnout.

Employees also often consider leaving the fold when they feel disengaged. And disengagement breeds all too easily when people feel a disconnect between the work they’re putting in, and the level of appreciation they feel they’re getting in return – something easily encountered in a virtual environment in particular.

These are all reasons why your internal communications strategy needs to work harder than ever before, especially when it comes to your share plan and overall total rewards packages. We all know offering employees share plans is more likely to encourage them to stay longer. But you don’t just want them to stay because they feel financially glued to your business. You want them to stay enthusiastically and feel they’re part of the overall future success.

 

Retaining employees through your share plan and reward communications

There are lots of ways you can approach your share plan and reward communications in a way that encourages greater engagement and therefore, supports retention. Here, we touch on three:

1. Be clear on your company’s financial future

Employees are much more likely to stay with a company when they feel secure – excited even – about their future within it. And since money makes the world go round, being able to show a clear financial trajectory is key to this. This is where you need to think about how you present any hard data, in an accessible way so that employees can visualise the future and feel enthused about moving forward. And both how you present this and the communication channels you choose are important – while senior execs might prefer the robustness of a brochure or presentation pack, your younger, tech-savvy workforce will respond more enthusiastically to bite-sized information delivered across a mix of channels over time like video or infographics.

2. Know when to ramp up engagement

Research has shown there are key periods where we tend to naturally reflect on our lives and our futures. Year-end is one of them, as is the lead up to a big birthday. Clever companies know this and will proactively engage with, say, a 29-year-old employee to understand how they can support their future goals as they hit their new decade. In a similar way, you might consider opportunities to engage between ‘cycle or transactional events’ – can you get coverage and engage as part of the appraisals process, at half and full-year results, in strategy town hall updates for example?

3. Your people are your greatest asset!

One of the most effective ways to bring your share plan and reward communications to life is through those that are a part of it. Storytelling is one of the most powerful communications techniques there is – people respond to people and to their stories. Something as simple as creating video testimonials from colleagues who are participating, who can talk about the impact it’s had or having on their financial wellbeing, their future or their lifestyle, can be a huge help for others.

Your people are your biggest asset – and also your biggest cost. According to Gallup, the cost of replacing a member of the team can add up to around 1.5 times their annual salary, indicating that if the Great Resignation does rumble on in 2022, the costs could be substantial. For this reason, investing time, money and energy into your share plan and reward communications is important to help you to retain – and save – over the longer term.

 

Feel inspired, but need help delivering your share plan or reward communications strategy?
Come and chat with us – we’re passionate about communication and also experts in share plans and reward, so we’re well placed to make things easy for you and achieve impactful outcomes!

Claire Weekes

Associate Employee Communications Consultant

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